Terms and conditions for the supply of copies of records

Copies of public records in Crown copyright

Most public records in The National Archives are in Crown copyright. There are no restrictions on the use of copies for non-commercial research or private study. Copies, and copies of those copies, may be made and used for education purposes. This covers both teaching and preparation for teaching and/or examination by either teacher or student.

Applications for permission to use copies for publication (including website publication), exhibition or broadcast or any other purpose must be addressed to:

The National Archives' Image Library
The National Archives
Kew
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 4DU

Email: image-library@nationalarchives.gov.uk 

Copies of public records that are not in Crown copyright

Copies may be used for non-commercial research, private study or education (as defined above) within the limits set in UK copyright law. 

Copies of non-public records and of published copyright works held in The National Archives

These are supplied subject to the customer accepting and observing additional terms and conditions by signing a declaration form. Any infringement of these additional conditions may result in legal action by the copyright owner. Any use other than for non-commercial research, private study or education, if approved by the copyright owner, may also require the permission of our image library.

The National Archives will provide further information on request. Please email enquiries to psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

Prices

Estimates are valid for three months.

Target times for completion of copying orders

Orders normally take up to 14 working days to dispatch, but may vary according to order size and complexity.

Post and packing

The National Archives will securely package copies for supply by post and will dispatch copies via the service chosen by the customer. In the event of damage or loss in transit the customer must notify The National Archives at the address specified above within 28 days and further copies will be dispatched.

If you choose the option to collect copies from The National Archives, we will retain the copies at the record copying counter in the Document Reading Room for 28 days from us notifying you they are ready to collect. You will need a reader's ticket to access the counter.

Paper and digital copies

We reserve the right to copy original records using the copying process or processes which will minimise risk of damage to the records, and to disallow copying of records where the risk of damage to these records is deemed high. There are restrictions on which copying processes may be used for certain types of records due to factors such as size and condition. Where a surrogate of a record exists we will normally create copies from that surrogate and not the original, for preservation reasons.

Digital images

All images delivered online will be supplied in JPEG format at 300 dpi only.

Images are downloadable from our website for up to 21 days of us notifying you by email. Digital images ordered and supplied on CD will normally be supplied in JPEG format at 300 dpi.

Copy quality

The National Archives will aim to provide research quality copies, which are those sufficient to convey the written or graphic information in the original document. There can be no guarantee that we will be able to do so - for example, if the original documents are of poor quality. There can also be no guarantee that the copies will be suitable for any other purpose. For colour copies we will aim for reasonable differentiation between colours, but we are unable to guarantee an exact colour-matched image.

All requests for copies for any purpose other than research must be referred to The National Archives' image library.

Image sizes

All copies that are produced from digitally scanned images: The National Archives will normally produce copied images which are approximately the same size as the originals. We cannot guarantee that the copies will be exactly size-for-size. Copies will normally be printed onto sheets of paper of the appropriate size in the A2 to A3 range (within preservation guidelines and at the discretion of the operator). We will not make enlargements or reductions of original records.

Prints from microfilm: images will normally be printed onto A3 size paper and may be larger or smaller than the original documents.

Photographs or transparencies: these can be supplied in specified dimensions, which will normally be required if a copy is for publication. Orders for photographs, transparencies or images for publication or any other form of commercial exploitation, including website use, must be placed with The National Archives' image library.

Deemed acceptance

Customers will be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions by requesting an estimate, placing an order, or by accepting copies by any means. Placing an order will be deemed to be an agreement that production shall begin on receipt. Once production has begun, the right to cancel the contract will cease. Monies paid are non-refundable.

Claims for missing or incorrect copies

No claims for missing or incorrect copies will be considered after 28 days of dispatch.

If you have any queries regarding these terms and conditions, please contact us.